HomeCommiesWhy was Lenin a game-changer?


Why was Lenin a game-changer? — 5 Comments

  1. I have just finished reading ” Dictator Literature” by Daniel Kalder. It covers the writing of dictators from Lenin onwards.
    The thought I was left with is that although all the dictators covered were ruthless bastards, they somehow surrounded themselves with people who were bad enough to carry out the killing and torture necessary to enforce the regime. It is only when enough people get the necessary courage to stand up for themselves that the dictators are toppled.

  2. Thanks Frank, fixed now.

    John, good observation. Lenin wasn’t initially surrounded by many people like that, but the civil war changed things, it brutalised the whole country and provided him with a lot more people willing to resort to extreme violence.

    And Stalin really took full advantage of that, he methodically built up a large network of violent thugs.

  3. I suspect that even Lenin was surpassed in terms of ruthlessness by Trotsky – the suppression of the Kronstadt mutiny and this, from Wiki

    Vladimir Cherniaev, a leading Russian historian, sums up Trotsky’s main contributions to the Russian Revolution:

    Trotsky bears a great deal of responsibility both for the victory of the Red Army in the civil war, and for the establishment of a one-party authoritarian state with its apparatus for ruthlessly suppressing dissent… He was an ideologist and practitioner of the Red Terror. He despised ‘bourgeois democracy’; he believed that spinelessness and soft-heartedness would destroy the revolution, and that the suppression of the propertied classes and political opponents would clear the historical arena for socialism. He was the initiator of concentration camps, compulsory ‘labour camps,’ and the militarization of labour, and the state takeover of trade unions. Trotsky was implicated in many practices which would become standard in the Stalin era, including summary executions.[79]

    Historian Geoffrey Swain argues that:

    The Bolsheviks triumphed in the Civil War because of Trotsky’s ability to work with military specialists, because of the style of work he introduced where widescale consultation was followed through by swift and determined action.

    However, your point stands – just that his henchman Trotsky was even more turhless

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